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Nashville DUI/DWI Law Blog

New laws now in effect regarding driving under the influence

On July 1, Tennessee began a new fiscal year. With that beginning came a number of new drunk driving laws that went into effect. Anyone convicted of driving under the influence could face harsher penalties.

The majority of the changes will not affect first-time offenders as much as they will those who are repeat offenders. The biggest change for first-time offenders is that unless good cause is shown, an ignition interlock device will be ordered for everyone convicted of drunk driving. Law enforcement officials are also now required to run criminal background checks on every driver suspected of being impaired.

Man faces allegations of sexual assault of girlfriend's daughter

It can be a challenge for couples, whether married or unmarried, to meld their lives together when one of the parties has a child. In some cases, allegations of sexual assault are made at some point during the relationship. These accusations can have devastating effects on the lives of everyone involved regardless of whether they are true. However, the damage done to the life of the Tennessee resident who faces charges as a result of the allegations might be irreparable.

In January, a woman went to police to accuse her boyfriend of raping her daughter. The couple had lived together for at least five years. The abuse allegedly began when the girl was 9-years-old. She is now 14-years-old, and it was only when the mother noticed that her daughter was ill often that she questioned her.

Blood alcohol tests not affected by U.S. Supreme Court ruling

The United States Supreme Court hands down many rulings that ultimately impact laws here in Tennessee and across the country. Recently, the court ruled that law enforcement officials are required to obtain a warrant in order to draw a blood sample, but do not need a warrant for a breath test. The question becomes whether that decision will affect whether Tennessee drivers can refuse to submit to blood alcohol tests.

Many states make it a criminal offense to refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test when a driver is suspected of being impaired. Furthermore, law enforcement officials in those states can force an individual to provide a blood sample. States in which this is currently the law will be affected by the recent ruling.

Man facing DUI charges is grandson of former Tennessee senator

A man identified as the underage grandson of Ward Crutchfield, a former Tennessee senator who is now deceased, was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. In addition to DUI charges, he also faces charges alleging that he fled from the scene of an accident and caused property damage as he did so. It would be in his best interests to engage criminal defense counsel as soon as possible to combat the charges.

Reports from the Tennessee Highway Patrol indicate that the young man hit a pedestrian and several vehicles. He is accused of speeding away from the scene. Troopers claim that when the vehicle believed to be involved in the accident and its driver were found, the man behind the wheel appeared to be intoxicated.

Woman's DUI history could be used in vehicular homicide case

Even though convictions for driving under the influence remain on a person's record, any of them over 10 years old are not allowed to be used in court in Tennessee. This means that an individual who is arrested for DUI now could be treated as a first time offender if it has been at least 10 years since his or her last conviction. It provides people with a second chance of sorts -- that is, unless current charges include vehicular homicide.

For instance, a woman was recently arrested and charged with several crimes, including the death of a man she allegedly struck and killed. When her criminal record was reviewed, it was discovered that she has been convicted of driving under the influence seven times since 1986. Under ordinary circumstances, any of those convictions that occurred over 10 years ago would not be a factor in the current charges she is facing.

Mother of 3 could face DUI charges after crash

At approximately 7:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday, police were called to the scene of a single vehicle accident. Upon arrival, they discovered a Tennessee woman and her three children -- ages 2, 6 and 7 -- who were, thankfully, uninjured. Officials say that, depending on the results of a toxicology test, the mother of three could face DUI charges.

Preliminary reports indicate that the woman somehow lost control of the vehicle. It then left the road, crashed into a mailbox and a fence. The vehicle finally came to a stop in the front yard of a residence within inches of the home. Officers at the scene claim to have smelled alcohol on the driver and that her speech was slurred.

You deserve representation if you are accused of a computer crime

As the computer industry continues to evolve, so does the law regarding the use of electronic mediums such as the internet, email and social media. If you are accused of a computer crime by the state of Tennessee or the federal government, you deserve representation. The criminal defense counsel that you select needs to not only understand the law, but computers as well.

More than likely, the investigation that led to your arrest involved people trained in computer forensics and cyber investigations. The evidence that supposedly points to your guilt may include technical jargon and complex processes. Your attorney will need to be able to cull through this information and either understand it or have access to someone who does. Otherwise, it might not be known whether your rights were violated, and it could be difficult to prepare an appropriate defense.

Blood alcohol tests are not indefensible

Many Tennessee motorists are pressured into complying with law enforcement officials when they are stopped and accused of driving under the influence. They are subjected to breath tests, field sobriety tests and even blood alcohol tests. In reality, you are not required to submit to any testing, and the only agency you should ever voluntarily give blood to is the Red Cross.

However, if you provided a blood sample, that does not mean that the results of any testing are 100 percent accurate. Tennessee residents are given the impression by law enforcement agencies that blood alcohol tests are indisputable proof that they were impaired while driving. That might not necessarily be the truth.

Woman might face DUI charges, among others, re fatal crash

Over the Memorial Day holiday, law enforcement agencies throughout Tennessee launched a campaign to keep the roads safe. During that time, there were 41 accidents, and 10 people were arrested and could face DUI charges. One of those crashes involved three cars and one fatality.

Police have accused a 23-year-old woman of driving under the influence. Officials believe she was impaired when she was allegedly driving in the eastbound lanes as she headed west. Reports indicate that her vehicle sideswiped one vehicle and then ran head-on into a third vehicle. The driver of the third vehicle, a 60-year-old man, suffered fatal injuries in the crash to which he succumbed at a local hospital.

Failure to report child sexual abuse charges filed against coach

Even though high schools and universities have policies against hazing, it still occurs in some schools. In one case that occurred in December, members of a sports team allegedly raped four Tennessee high school basketball players with a pool cue in a hazing incident. Prosecutors claim that the team's coach knew about the rapes, but he failed to report them. Recently, a grand jury indicted the man on four counts of failure to report child sexual abuse.

Reports indicate that the four freshman players were at a cabin with the rest of the team. They were held down by two team members while the third, who is now 18 years old, used a pool cue to rape the boys. One of the boys suffered a ruptured bladder during the assault and required several days of hospitalization.